Battling Mammography Confusion

jay-baker-300-375This post was contributed by American College of Radiology (ACR) Breast Imaging Communications Committee Chair Jay Baker, MD.

Conflicting breast cancer screening guidelines from other organizations have caused confusion in women on when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them. The ACR addresses this year round, but particularly during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

Members of the breast imaging commission recently took part in radio media tour interviews with 27 stations across the country. Collectively, our message was heard by 5 million people.

On October 20 at 1pm Eastern Time, the ACR will hold a Facebook Live event on the Mammography Saves Lives (MSL) Facebook page. Among the more than 2,700 followers of the MSL page are more than 1000 patients (or patient advocates). This is an opportunity to speak directly to those we serve.

I encourage you to direct your patients to the MSL Facebook Live event. We will dish the latest on mammography benefits and risks. We will clear up misconceptions and accurately define terms they may see in the media – like: “overdiagnosis,” “false positive,” “dense breasts” and more.

I also invite you to check out the breast imaging resources section on the ACR site and the Mammographysaveslives.org tools and resources section.

  • Patients need to know that mammography has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate by nearly 40 percent since the mid-1980s.
  • They need to know why we still advise them to start getting mammograms at age 40 and continue as long as they are in good health.
  • They need to know that Mammography Saves Lives.

Are you finding that many women are confused about when to get mammograms?

What are you doing in your practice to urge women to start screening at age 40?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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